filed her claim within 100 days after receiving her first paycheck that was; pay president obama signed the lee ledbetter their pay and restoration act. the first official bill signed. this is just under an hour. >> i have to take right off. i have a little during a problem with my years. i flew over 12,000 miles in march and i have a ruptured blood vessels and one of nine years, so i can't hear very well but everybody says i'm talking okay. i still have a southern drawl but "the new york times" stated early on in my battle that she scored a good story and i do and
the reason i every manned in the story i'm not any one special. this belongs to everyone in this room. it touches every family across the nation. there's not any of you exempt. it is not new, yourself, it's someone in your family, your sister, maybe your mother or whatever but it's ruining this country that women are so mistreated in their pay and their benefits and it's like with the president said when he signed the bill into law. it's not a woman's issue, it is a family issue it belongs to the family and that is why the family has stayed popular because people are living in every day. i did a lot of military bases in the primary - out on them there are people having to move their mother and mother-in-law in their home simply because they
didn't receive the paper in their working years to have a decent retirement that's not right in this country because then the family is trying to raise their children and teenagers and have their grandmother there and it's an interference with family life and also a hardship and expense, too when this happens. i'm going to tell you a little bit about who i am. when i came to goodyear i was a district manager for h&r block in 16 locations. prior to that i was the financial aid director at the university i worked two full-time jobs. 12 months and the offer was nine months i've worked another job full-time. i went to a good year in 1979
because we went to the cult the radio division in alabama in 1976 and i was in my office one day selling a good article from business week on the plants to represent a new management style. that's what i believed then and i want to be part of that. i already had them and my husband is objection because at first when it came out it was like everything else. they were very, very high. so oyster to interviewing in 1978 and 1970 - a personalized supervisor and there were five of us on the squad and there were five divisions since the time about 5,000 people working at the plant. we knew that they would put each
of us in those divisions. so i started lavina the best i knew how. that's when i learned to lobby because i wanted the decision and i did get to the division and i had to work every job from one end to the other part of my training. i've survived and made it and was a good job to read that is the sad part about the story. the jobs at good year there were good manager jobs for women. details follow-through and we are always on the job. so that was 1979 and i worked in every division in the plant out there for my career that was left downsizing. i spent two years in the
mailroom. 1998i went into work one night, the first thing i always did was check my mail. my name and three men, those men making 8,000 plus base pay. mine was 3,000, $727 base pay, and that was no overtime. to the managers on the line, the first line managers, as we got over time the first initial fall in my mind was how much money el in my mind was how much money i lost in my overtime pay to revive is embarrassed and devastated. i went into the ladies' lounge and walked around and sat down trying to get my composure. i didn't understand how to give enough that i could go through 12 hour shift but i did.
i got up and finally realized i had to get on the job or i would delete. all through the night i kept looking at people wondering who left me the notes. but halfway through the night it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks, my retirement is based on what i'm learning. my contributory retirement was matched by a personage from goodyear and i had that after six months of going to work there. mike 401k at the time was 10% of what i earned matched by six or 7% stock. just in that and today the social security as well. all we come the next morning i thought about what are my options. i was two years away from retirement i couldn't let it go because that's not to im. a growing and the county of rural alabama having to pick
cotton as a child i learned about working you get a good pace for good day's work. but i couldn't let that go with equal commission i can tell you if i start we would be in this eight years. there's not a quick solution to a case like this and the corporations in the corporate world they could wait you out and spend you out and they could wear you out. we would be in a long time because i'm not a quitter and you know that to the if he said what time do you want to leave? we went to birmingham. i filed the charge with equal employment commission. she jogged out all the details because when you are a manager and have to go in and say they are not treating me right we
sound like a crybaby of a winder. when she vanished, she stayed with me about three hours. she dug out of me everything that had occurred to me in my career at goodyear. she said mrs. ledbetter, these people have been messing with you for a long time. i said yes, ma'am, i understand that today than i've ever tasted before. but i go back home going back to my job and as soon as goodyear is not a fight the retaliation starts. i can't get any information they didn't have a book there's no job description they created a job and was difficult to survive so i saw the handwriting on the wall. but i filed the charges and 1999 the equal employment commission
called and said you got one of the best cases we have ever seen we can't do it but we would suggest that you get your own attorneys because we are so backlogged and understaffed during that time until you get to trial much faster. i found a young attorney named johnetta wiggins firm in birmingham who taught my case pro bono and i done my investigation on him and the people that we spoke with said he never lost the case of when i got their somebody said she never had to go to trial before. he was good at negotiating settlements and for an individual to come up in a case like this with anything in their pockets you need a decent settlement. but there was never one office. that's why i saw it through treaty still is working with me
today and has never made a dime. but i was 1990 he shook my case, but we tried at least by 2002. but we didn't get there until 2003. my case was heard in my home county in alabama and january of 2003. after a week of testimony the jury came back with a verdict in my favor one was working at the plant that time she took a tremendous rest and played a terrific price for doing that. she's never got into my knowledge anything for it. the other lady had sold her service after being hassled and harassed so much. she had 22 years' service and
went as a supervisor. she took a personal day and came to the court and testified on my behalf. the lawyer asked her why she never complained. i live paycheck to paycheck and couldn't afford to bring up the pay because we were all told if you discuss your payout you will not work here and evidently everybody took them at their word because no one ever did discuss their pay. she said i knew if i brought up my pay the dewitt into a job and i couldn't afford to lose my job but she was making even less than i was. in fact she was below the minimum and that is one of the things i learned when we got into the discovery by was below the minimum for my job most of the years i worked there.
on friday in january of 2003 there were other people out in the homes with a general maintenance man who worked for me he was going to testify. they didn't need him after the women and attorneys had a board with all the managers names and salaries and heartache and we started at and where we were at the time. there was really all the trees should have seen because it was beyond the shadow of a doubt that i'd been discriminated simply because i was born of woman. it was 2000 freakin' read the verdict came back and they found the discrimination case and a couple other small ones that we threw in, but the pay discrimination they found in
favor tree $.8 million. i was told to keep a straight face and just don't forget the good year attorneys, don't look at the jury, just keep staring straight ahead. the was hard to do. they said don't cry, don't do anything. but when i heard the verdict, that's all i needed to hear because i will tell you a when i started this i never got any money. wasn't about the money. i needed that money when my children more in college. that was hard. that is the normal family life that i needed the money then. i didn't need it later, but i couldn't let a major corporation get by wendell law was on my side. he explained in the courtroom
how i was only entitled to 300,000. only discriminatory item i had was i was a woman i didn't have anything else. so i could only get 300,000. back pay you could only go back to years. i didn't know but back pay you can only go back for two years. if you work 40 years or 40 years and decide you want to file for your lost wages, you can only go back for two years and that's a lot. there is nothing in the law that allows an individual to regain any of their life overtime pay or lost retirement. you cannot get your retirement suggested. they are gone forever. i hope i live to see the cat
when it is a white woman and that's all she got. the cap needs to come off because that is the only way a jury can compensate individual for all of that lost money. .. the headlines the next day from california to chicago, to new york, florida and all across this nation read, jacksonville alabama woman awarded $3.8 million from goodyear tire
and rubber. there was a gadsden headline that read goodyear lost its case but i love those headlines. there is a lot to be said about a lot of seeing those headlines and the news. while that was 2003. it went to level circuit and when my attorneys appealed we will herd in the supreme court in november of 2006 the monday after thanksgiving. during this time we had our normal family -- but i worked this case full just like it was a job. i call people and i called over 100 people to sign those four people. there were a few others but we didn't need them to testify on my behalf. people were afraid of losing their jobs. they were so afraid. that is why they switched over and as they came to
juxtaposition most of it was color-coded. but life went on and my husband had two major back surgeries and was bedridden for six weeks and then he started developing -- one on the right ear and one on the last year. two months after the left ear, one came out on the left side of his face, right right to the jaw and they removed the left side of his face and grafted his skin from his left leg. i left him at home with a home health care nurse to travel to the supreme court to hear my case presented because it was important for me to be there. i don't know why, all i heard was ledbetter versus goodyear and i never heard my name any more. all ever heard was she and this case can't go forward. they supported my case all the way from the time we started until the supreme court. as you heard from the
introduction the law was on my side. all of the cases previous to this were based on -- which meant if you are still getting a check it started a new accounting. map. but when the government, after goodyear's, had 20 minutes in the governmental lawyer took goodyear's site and he said we can't let this case go forward. they are coming out of the woodwork to file and it would be such a hardship on the corporations. well, we waited until may of 07 when the verdict came out. they came back with 5-4 and justice alito read the opinion. he said, i should have filed my charge the first discriminatory paycheck i got even though i did not know it. even though i couldn't prove it but i should have filed it then. what this would mean in normal everyday life is, if you get a new job you have got six months to file a charge because that is
when the pay is set. it is set in the beginning. i don't think people on a new job will be walking around trying to figure out, should i be filing a charge? you are trying to learn the job. i goodyear i never learned where the restrooms were until six months. it was such a big operation. i mean, that is just not normal. that is not the way it is supposed to be. justice ruth bader ginsburg hit the nail on the head when she said, these people don't understand what it's like in the real world and she challenged congress. she said the ball is in your court. you can take it up and you can correct this injustice and change the law back. and she was exactly right. the public heard her loud and clear and that was may of 07. the lawyers told me when they called and gave me the verdict they say, you don't have to respond to the media but i would give this my best shot. the law was on my side.
i had worked this case. my lawyers had worked it. we didn't have anything to be embarrassed about. in fact, the arbitration case that we had, the figures came back in two days, two days a week and i could get my old rate of pay. i said look, don't want to earn any more money. i just want what i'm entitled to that i should've had when i was working working. i don't want to earn anymore and i know how goodyear thinks. you can work with h.r. the manager said. unp get along real well so we will let you work with him two days. i said no, i said he has been a goodyear just the right time to transfer out and he did, two months after the case closed -- the verdict came out, he transferred and he doesn't even work with goodyear any more.
but, in two weeks after the verdict, my lawyer got me a plane take met and called me and said we are going to washington. you are testifying before the house. i testified twice before the house and twice before the senate, and i had the opportunity the first time in the senate to testify before ted kennedy's committee. his staff had put together two charts on roberts and alito. during their confirmation hearings, one chart covered what they said. the other chart showed how they had voted since they have been on the bench. it was back in senator kennedy's words, didn't appear to be the same individuals. my case is not the only one that they have reversed or change the law. i spoke at the democratic convention. atlanta, invited by the president. not endorsing him.
they said you can do -- reagan or john kerry. but in the meantime we are doing radiation and chemo it i house and also flying back and forth to washington. the coalition in washington kept me up there. i would go three or four days a week and a day for me in washington was on the call-in radio program, the npr radio program up on the hill. we were heading republicans as well as democrats to get support for the bill's. the ledbetter bill is bipartisan. doesn't belong to the democratic party or the republicans. it is fundamental. each of us are paid what we are legally entitled to and have earned. but when i walked off that stage at the democratic convention, i felt the audience. i could see the tears on the
women's face and the men were going yes, they got it. the reporter said and when did you endorse obama? i said tonight, because i knew i had to get off the fence and go for him because john mccain had just said the women's problem across this great nation, we didn't have enough education or training. that is why we didn't make enough money. i couldn't let that go. i had to start campaigning and trying to get the laws changed because it was important. and it was a record deal. it took us 18 months to get the ledbetter bill passed and the paycheck fairness when i was sitting in the senate last november. i had -- after 15 years in the work it failed by two cough votes. all the democrats voted for but none of the republicans would come across the island vote for it and the same as the ledbetter bill. had that would bin talal i would
have known i was getting shortchanged way back when and i could have done something about it. but this is real people's lives, folks. this is not again. this is real families across this nation and i have learned that the young are suffering because their mothers are working two jobs trying to make ends meet and they are not home to prepare good healthy meals and they're becoming obese. they are not there to go to the parent teacher conferences and education is hurting. we have to get this country turned around. that is what is dragging the nation down come is the fact that so many people are underpaid for the work they do. it seems simple to me because when people are paid fair, it benefits the community, the state and the nation. they will turn the money back around in the neighborhoods and they will spend it and it makes it stronger all the way around.
i also have learned that doing the right thing may not seem proper, but doing the right thing sometimes means having the courage to speak the truth to power. that came from a judge in birmingham and i so believe it. i also learned that it's not so much what happens to us, but how we react to it. i can't let this go today. i lost my husband in december of 08. i came home from doing 82020 segment in new york. i found him and he was already cold. the cancer and the treatment had borne him completely out. he had a stroke in his left eye last year and we had nine operations on that i. he never regained his eyesight, and he had trust eight surgery plus all the extra treatment. his body was absolutely worn out. i could not let it go and i
don't let it go today because we still have much work to do right now. i am disturbed that they are trying to take away our protective rights and the institutions we women have to make or our bodies and we can't let this happen. we have to wake up. i did learn that one person can start a battle and it takes a lot of us to win a war. everybody across this nation. one of the headlines read, she struck a nerve and that is exactly what i did and people got behind me. in that same interview that came from his stafford university when i spoke there, i stated that was a good job. those of you that work at this plant, you know those were good jobs. i had good benefits if i had just gotten paid what i was legally entitled to. had might have been within the ballpark i would have let it go.
and i about it. that would have been the easy thing to do. i thought about it long and hard, because i knew once i started i would be in for a fight. but that was the price i was willing to pay and my family supported me. i could not let it go. my title and the plant, i immediately became troublemaker, so i carried it on through and the verdict came out from the supreme court. i got a bill from good year for $3165. the birmingham attorney sent that to the media. the washington attorney sent it to -- so i have not heard from it. [laughter] but this is something we all need to get behind. we can't let this go, and the kind of people that went to the white house, the first call i
got after the funeral was from senator hillary rodham clinton at the time and then the second call was from president-elect obama in and the third was one was from a show. these caring people and the people that are there now. i am not partisan here but they understand what it's like in middle america. i would suggest this. i tell the college students this. when i visit schools. you had that her research to people you are voting for. you don't read the headlines in the don't watch the news. you had better research their voting record. what have they done for you back home? those are the people that you need to support. not what they might do or might think about doing but what they have done is what you look at. i couldn't let this go. i can't let it go today. i travel the world. in march of 2009 my washington attorney and died went and
stayed six-day sharing my story. i had never lived anywhere but alabama and in the south. this isn't just a southern problem. it is coast to coast, north to south and east to west. we stayed six ways days and i shared my story. the french and the japanese send reporters into this country and interviewed me and they wrote articles. the chilean newspaper a month ago interviewed me for the second time. they have the same problem. this is around the world. the other countries said, they are looking at the united states for leadership to set an example. but there is a lot in the book and i wanted to share a little bit with you about what we have in the back and to give you a
little information there. then we will open it up for questions. and there are no secrets, you can read anything you want to about me. i hope hope you have seen the rachel maddow interview and chris matthews on hardball. rachel's was march the fifth, cbs was march the fifth and hardball was march 16. there is a video on obama's web site. they came to alabama and a lot of the libraries videos that they purchased to use. there is a lot to that. they did a good job of setting up a professional team there. i flew all those miles and i will be leaving tuesday morning. we are going to harvard in boston, and harvard tuesday night. when she is in tulane i will be
in pittsburgh. i think she captured my story. extremely well. since this little as a local audience, i will share some things. i did turn down a movie deal early on, simply because i wanted this story to be heard across this nation, because it's important that we wake up and prevent this from happening to other people and other families. we do not have to accept this. we can do something about it. >> as lilly said, her story is every woman's story. unfortunately, the reason that is the case is because today in america, you probably know this, caucasian women earned 77 cents for every dollar and man earns.
this fact is based on the median earnings of all full-time year-round workers. so in 2010, when a man earned $47,000, 700 -- $47,715, a woman earned almost $11,000 less. sheet earned $36,931. 50 years ago the equal pay act was passed, in 1963 and women earned 53% to every man's dollar. that was just 50 years ago. there are two things to note here. the gap has not closed very much in half a century. bad is about a half percent annually, half a cent annually. if you add up that difference over the course of a lifetime
and a working lifetime is considered 47 years of full-time work, 47 years of your life you are working. as a high school graduate that means you lose $700,000 if you are woman or colored -- a college graduate that is 1.2 million for professional school graduate, but has a graduate degree, you have $2 million. so, for lilly when she discovered that after 19 years ago via that meant she was making 40% less than the three other area managers doing the exact same job. in other words, she lost over $200,000 in their career that was not taking into consideration her retirement and social security. women of color, the wage gap is even worse. 2010 african-american women were earning 67.7% to every man's 1 dollar hispanic women 8.7% of
men's earnings. lilly's story is every woman's story, and there are over 60 million working women in the workforce. two-thirds are mothers who are bringing home a quarter of their family's earnings. so in many cases women are the sole breadwinner. from wall street to vermont, doesn't matter where you work, women are discriminated against in the workforce and that is a very statistical picture of the wage gap. lilly has become the poster child for the wage gap whether she wanted to or not. here is her story from her point of view and that is one woman's experience. so, what we did is we put a lot of information in the back of the book about the paycheck fairness act which still needs to be passed and about pay equity and the wage gap. you can read the stories and you will also have got to look at as a resource for your own needs.
we hope that things will change. [applause] >> we will open it up for questions. i will give you two answers right off. i do not know who gave me the note, because what happened, the last evaluation sheet was anonymously mailed so i don't know who gave it to me, where it came from and at trial you will be interested to know goodyear could not produce my personnel file. one of my bosses said he thought they burned it and the judge came across it and said that may explain, when a person files a charge you are required by law to retain those records until it is close. but they could not produce it and so it wasn't there. that is all we had, other than our pay records.
my attorney could finally get them from goodyear. so i don't know who gave them the note and no i don't know -- [laughter] 's the one thing lilly that is interesting to point out too, over a decade fighting the battle, when you got to court in 2003, the number of legal documents that the case generated, if you stacked it up, it would be three stories high. it's hard to understand what someone really goes there and how much time and effort and energy you experienced just to stand up for what's right. >> ayn this type of individual that i could not let ago. it just wasn't right, i couldn't let it go. the law was on my side and the
outcry against the supreme court against the ruling until the next ridiculous case that came before them was the lady who filed the charge about the informant and it was on the wrong form a wrong date or something. it should not have been let go but bush said, it's okay, just let that one go. those were not call from that bench in my opinion but that is my opinion. she is right, it it was a long fight and it's hard on an individual and hard on the family. we could not leave home on a vacation. on a trip without advising the attorney where we were and how we could be reached. for 10 years. to nine years to get my final verdict. i told my husband it took nine years in and then it actually took 18 months to get the bill change. >> lilly, why did you tell them eight? what were you thinking? >> i read the headlines.
you don't see any cases in the paper that is a quick fix but they grab them now. now that in the last three years, the equal employment commission is double staff and they have more money. i do a lot of work with them now and one thing that they are doing, they are going around training in cities and counties and governments that don't ring in official people to train them on what they should be doing with the laws and they go in and train those people. therefore, they don't make these mistakes. said they are doing a lot of preventive work now, as well as if you will check the paper periodically you will see a large sum that they want for an individual. when they win the money, they get it all, that person does. the government doesn't keep any of it. in my case, when i talked about money, that's 360 had the
supreme court awarded it like they should have, my attorneys attorneys -- and i do pay federal and state tax on all of it because it was in no of wages. i would have had less than $50,000 i spent 40 of my own money. it wasn't a complete washout. i had already spent $40,000 i worked every weekend getting ready to go to trial. i was there for every deposition. i think you will enjoy the book. if you have worked in the plant or he equal work there are you know somebody who have worked there, which a lot of you do, you are going to say yeah, i knew that. i saw that. you really will. how about questions? i am sure you have got something you would like to ask. >> you i have a comment. i think it's extraordinary that you have spent as much time in effort as you have do this, because a lot of people would not have done it.
and i think that we all need to take a lesson from that. and i think, not on the issue of women's's day, but i am concerned about the vote. they are trying to stop a lot of people from voting. that is a right. >> you are right, and we all need to be concerned about that. that is true, that is true. >> i commend you for all you have done. >> thank you. we have a question over here. we need a mic. we ask that you talk into the mic if you have a question so everybody can hear. >> lilly, this is kind of i guess a double question for you. the day that the supreme court made its decision, i would like to know what you felt? i would also like to know how you felt the day president obama signed the law?
>> a great question. the day i heard the verdict, my husband and i had been with the senior group from the church. we thought we would go have lunch, you know and go on our merry way and get used to losing. the media started calling and the lawyer said, you don't have to respond but i didn't have anything to be embarrassed about so i said, let them, on an. we opened the door and here they came in. videos and reporters and pete williams with a hookup for brian williams that night. he gave the questions and then the next day cnn came and it was just one media, radio and norman lear called that night instead i want to send them in. do you know who i am? i said yes sir, you may jefferson's and all in the family. [laughter] i met him since then, but we
videoed all day. bay left with oodles. they are still running some of them on youtube. you can't believe what you see on tv because they rearrange your whole house and hang up your curtains or take your photos down a movie dining room table, your coffee table and they want you to make a change. i said, don't think so. i just lost $3.8 million you want me to make changes? i said no, no. he said -- my husband is retired military so he was of a coffee person. he said oh i have got a fresh pot of coffee that they had me poured out and make some more. when we went to the white house for the bill, they called me and said, do you want -- is your daughter want to come because we both have been on the train trip with the obamas to the inauguration. i said i will call them. the lady who called said, have to get her cleared and it's not
easy, so let me know quick. well i called my daughter's house at 6:00 a.m. in the morning and i'd called my son-in-law and told him what i did. in another hour she called back and she said can you get five office and? in? i was so embarrassed. i didn't think my son-in-law and my grandson. i said sure. i have got that much swing up there. [laughter] so i called and gave them all their social security numbers. we went into that white house and we walked up to that gate that morning and people were chanting my name, all the women and the men. you would have thought i was a rock star. my grandson's eyes were this big, looking at me. they had never been involved in this. we get into the white house and they pull me out separate and they are out there ringing and all the people. then they signed the bill. that was in awesome walk down that red carpet. i mean, the feeling i had, because i was afraid -- i prayed
so hard. i don't usually pray for personal things like that but i prayed that would send a message. it was the first bill he signed into law. i was the second one they got to dance with him at the neighborhood ball. there is an eight x 10 picture in "the washington post" book. you can get them on line. while we were dancing he said, we are going to do this. i knew he wasn't talking about dancing. he was talking about the ledbetter bill. he said we are going to do this. he saw it through and he got it done. it went on through and he signed it. when that pen had that paper, it meant so much to so many. but went through my mind was all if you are working out there today, you have that right and you find out 10 years from now
you're being discriminated against, you can file that charge in 180 days. so it was an awesome thing. then we went in for the reception and that was the first one they had done since they got there. that was the first time the women's groups in washington have been to the white house in eight years, eight years. they had not been there. they had all the refreshments set up and i looked at all those neat little dishes in the food over there and i sure did want some. they told my daughter's family, you cannot move because if you do you'll lose your seat. my daughter said -- but it was neat to be there and hillary clinton came in. of course she was secretary of state ben. the republicans and the democrats, half of those people standing behind it are republicans but i had three checks to run for office. i turned it down, because i did
more good going to college campuses and military bases, law schools and anywhere else that anybody invites me. monday of last week i addressed the assembly and the counseling california. that was an awesome experience as well. i have been some places. i will do another book on where i have been and what has happened is happened because it has been unreal. i had dinner in the home monday night of marshall loeb who started "fortune" magazine. i couldn't eat, looking at the chandeliers and all of the things on the walls and on the floor. i participated in a fund-raiser in new york. me being there created a lot of excitement and pictures, and i spoke on the equal pay panel,
and then went up the ladder to raise money to get women into politics, republican or democrat. that was an awesome experience. so many doors that i've gotten through. i got to me justice ruth bader ginsburg and i also was the first ordinary citizens testify for a elena kagan when she was confirmed. i didn't take that lightly. i researched her and i knew she had been at harvard and found that her background and look to record up. i supported her and i was the first one to testify for her. so it has been an awesome journey, it really has. everyone of those -- in fact when i did the thing up on the corner was valerie jarrett and the vice president. he told me he was getting tired of getting me a proof to get into the white house and he would just give me a permanent pass. a lot of people think i was --
but i was supposed to have been there last monday. i already had the commitment in california, and i have never missed a commitment yet. i had the flu once and was trying to get over it, but the guy said, could you do standup at the podium for 15 minutes? we have got people busting in from birmingham and the surrounding area. i did the program. i haven't missed one yet. i am getting close though. any other questions? i have got one in the back of the room. he has got the mic. >> who would you pick to play the part of lilly ledbetter? >> i would like meryl streep. there will be a movie. he is an à la bama native and that is all i know him. we do have offers from two other tv channels this morning to make movies but i'm waiting on
hollywood for meryl streep. the publishing house at disney and abc, they have direct contact but meryl streep is a lot of work for women. she has already given $1 million for the women's museum in washington d.c.. they have the land and the bill has been passed in the house i know. so they are raising money. we have the women's museum in washington, but she would be the one and she has a younger daughter that they said could play my daughter. i have made my choice but i don't think i will have much of a choice. we have a question right here. >> i would just like to commend you for your tenacity and everything that you have done, and everything else that god has for you to do as he continues to strengthen you for everything that he is ordained for you to do. what i would like to ask you is, did you not say there is a paycheck fairness law that has
come up in what is hindrance? i mean are you receiving bipartisan support? is it just democrats? is it republicans? where is the state of that law and wears it being past? >> it will come up again and i have been told that it will pass, but what happened was -- if that had been the law when i heard it at goodyear or shortly after, i would have found out. they said they wished i would have come to them first. do you know what my boss said? there is too much from the men. except he said the words. he said the exact words, so i asked him in time to time to check and see about what was the top and the bottom as the cost
of living increase those figures. nobody at goodyear new. i don't know if john you are muir not that he worked there. i didn't know, and i don't know if anybody ever knew. i would say maybe he found out and had time to check. they were not going to give many answers to when i got the note i went straight to eeoc. it was time to stand up. paycheck fairness will come up again. the only reason it didn't pass this last time, that was when they had just gotten back in and there was no republican going to cross that line. they wouldn't cross it for nothing, because the two collins and the other lady that retired this year, both of them, i called them. they called me back. they called me at home. that is interesting. i stood up there in washington knocking on those doors and back in those days, the national women's law center and a
lobbyist from the aauw and maybe one or two other sometimes, we would call on the congress house people and then the senate. in the beginning we only got the system and now i can call and walk in the door. mr. harry reed, i see harry reed. if it's rosa delauro i will see her and if that senator leahy from vermont, i see him. i have traveled all over the country for each one of those people. i've been to california. it was his committee who named the log ledbetter. i am told i am the only alabamian with a law named for them. it's not comment and there are less than 35 and history. i went back to seattle law school in seattle washington next month and they have reached -- there's a lady there that has been doing the research. it is not a common thing to have
a law. it is like congressman miller said, we don't blame people like you. he said we name them for ourselves. whoever drafted the bill. any other questions? please talk into the mic. >> before you got that note, did you have any suspicions that you were not being paid? >> they would tell me based on the treatment and so forth and a lot of other things you you are reading the book. common sense told me that they were not paying me what the men were being paid, but i was sort of a trailblazer. i don't think any woman had ever lasted as long as i did in that job. and not to my knowledge, and i felt like i was in the ballpark. when i got that note and saw how much less, and in calculating my
overtime and my retirement, i wasn't even the ballpark. i was in a different game to tell you the truth. if i had been close, it would wd have been okay because they did the change to pay for per performance they called it, every which way they want to get the money out. but i did not know. i did not know where we would have filed a charge. i filed a charge in the early 80s to get my job back, to keep from losing the job i had. that is on record too and its mention in the book as well. i knew the system. i knew where to go and i knew how to file a charge. i had worked for h&r block and all those people and locations and i knew the law. >> this question is really for lanier. can you go through the process of u.n. believe linking up and i would also like to know how many pages of notes you have from her?
>> thousands, thousands. i met lilly right after the bill was signed when i did a profile for a statewide magazine. when she decided she wanted to do a book, she knew she wanted an alabama writer. she liked the article a lot and we had a natural sort of rapport lo and behold, we got together and started talking or lilly started talking and i started listening and writing. lilly was traveling so much and we talked a lot on the phone, and i did a lot of research. but it took a year of research and interviewing and writing the book proposal to sell the book. nine months to finish the book in nine months to publication. so that was the process. >> the picture on the front is
the birmingham photographer. is the terming ham photographer and the alabama -- [inaudible] >> we did a tour of possum trot. >> where i grew up in all that section and that is on the video. >> and the family cemetery of- >> went to the family cemetery. we had to go there to get the history. it has been a journey. and the lawyer said i haven't birmingham is the one that negotiated the contract for lanier in the book agent in new york. he has not made a dime. he had two children when we started together and by the time we got through, he had four. he went to washington the first time and he sat right behind me during the testimony and was so mad. he was so infuriated. when he came to anniston to do
the trial, he is jewish and he wasn't sure how the rural people in alabama would respect him you know, or accept what he said. so he brought one of the partners in the firm who was a short, red-headed, sandy haired guy. john would get furious at him because he didn't do it exactly like you wanted and he is one of those precise people. he has really been good to me and when my husband died, he was there. he came to the receiving that night. he has always been there for me. he went to washington for the bill signing. that is an interesting story too. we have three books last year. he was in court, and his wife got his assistant to get him a plane ticket from atlanta to washington. her mother lives and --
so she had him flying into bwi and spending the night with her, she called them and said john, there is a 1000-dollar plane ticket waiting for you at the delta county. go over there and you fly up there and you go to that bill signing. he really had a good time. he really enjoyed himself and got to meet a lot of people. it was good, but somebody asked him what he did for clothing. he said he did not have a bag that he stopped at -- to buy a shirt and i guess some underwear. i don't know, i didn't ask. buddy had fresh clothes and it was good. he was there in the washington attorney was there. kevin russell is the one that went with me because john was the first choice. yet a court trial so he didn't go. kevin tells his harvard student now that he lost the biggest case of his life but he won a trip.
i tell people, i did not pay him and he bought me a pair of italian leather shoes while he was there. so it has really been interesting and a lot of places i go. i don't have any money and i don't have any money that i get. i may go speak to a group and when i leave they will haven't been an envelope and it will have 160 or $170 it. i always come out. people have taken care of me or god has. i don't know, so somebody told me that god wasn't finished with my life and i guess he wasn't. when i went to goodyear, they hired a university of alabama to come up with a series of test. mine showed my number one job should have been politics or public speaking and i thought that was the funniest thing i have ever read. [laughter] so now i tell college students, don't take those tests
the city university of new york. it took me 12 years to get that one. i could have gotten a real one but that was quite an honor and my daughter and my youngest grandson went on that trip and their eyes get big when this person is standing over and we get a limo drive and the surrounding and he liked that and the oldest one went with me and 08 to. he just turned 21 so he went to harvard, and i also have a better presented from louisville kentucky and it says thanks for going to bat for the women of kentucky and i have a big stake that is designed and new york. it's on my dining room table
about three years ago the national convention. i had been honored so much i took all the china out of my china cabinet and i had a collection of crystal like we used to get out of flour. on the military basis i tell you i went into the airport and he said you can't have that there. you'll have to take it because they will take all that stuff out. but it's really interesting and the fact from harvard last time had 77 cents at the top so the young man on how you're to come in and help me get all the frames, and the framing lady
framed my bill for free and it's a 500-dollar framing job. i also now i am a kentucky colonel. my pen was signed and it's just as good. they are proclaimed in the state of illinois and the governor came both times and presented those in the chicago community and the commissioners stood that in all of the country and i really like mexico and arizona and all the states i've been everywhere in almost every state and i go back to three airtimes. it's been an interesting life so far to the mayor had two or three years ago its with a green
jacket that one will not it might have been bigger than that when all but they didn't give me that picture and they had lilly ledbetter day that is the only one in the state of alabama, and i did get some proclamations from the governor's we had but they had to come through the space people in montgomery. they didn't come from anybody. >> he went to an inaugural ball. was the president a good dancer? >> yes, he is a very good. he has a lot of rhythm. >> how did he know to dance and so well? >> that's where it came from on the book. she found out i did ballroom dancing and competed and with all the way to the grand nationals in miami florida and
she's a national champion ballroom dancer. you can ballroom dance? that is where my granddaughter's raise is that it has nothing to do with her, the article she did for the magazine on the one side and the metal on the other we couldn't do that in the book. thank you for coming to the public library. >> st you for having me. [applause] i will to see this bracelet that i'm wearing that says don't settle for less. i like that on college campuses. i have another i found that says make a difference and i told my pastor.
thank you folks for being here. i'm going to tell you a personal story today come and it's something that i normally don't do, but this story that iu am going to tell you is in largi parts what motivated me to wrie the second book what it's like to go to war one of the things i it is like talk about in that book is our culture has an agreement likegon the code of silence about whatof goes on in combat, what really goes on when our nation asks ou
kids to come out and kill some know pacifist, but i kil think that we can defeat could tend to not want to think abouta it very much, and coming you know, in my family, the same asy all families on was 50-years-ol5 when i found out that my fathera fought in the battle of the bulge. well,f dad, wasn't at a big dea? i would get all kinds of storiet about the women at normandy and that sort of stuff. what it is is our culture is good they don't wind were bragging. and in the veteran wil dl tell you % of the time it seems to complain about 4% of the time it is coman things you want to brag abouthe that doesn't leave you very much to talk about. one of the things i was hoping to do in this book is start to brag about. and things to start breaking
down a little bit. personal history, i grew up in a very small town in oregon. a lot being town called seaside oregon and when i grew up virtually all the fathers had been in world war ii. we called it the service back then. that was when your uncle was in the service. our culture is starting to make the change. i don't hear the service anymore. i hear it called the military. i think that is an interesting switch in language that is happening. that we should think about. i got a scholarship to yale and blasted out of the county and joined the marines because that was the thing to do. guys on my high school football team joined the marines. i joined the plc program which is a sort of marine rotc.
you get run through boot camp in the summer and people who survive go to college as reservists. you don't get paid but you get to be a marine. sounds like a good deal. we don't have to wear uniforms or march around during college. i got the road scholarship and thought i wouldn't be able to go. i wrote a letter to the marine corps and they said that is fine. take it. i was there about six weeks and started to feel really guilty because the guys are served with and kids from my own high school had been over there and lost five boys from my high school in vietnam and there i am drinking beer and having a wonderful time feeling iowa's hiding. i went to the war and ended up in the fourth marines and we were stationed in the jungle in the mountains and the ocean border.
and eventually the executive, and finally after i got shot a couple times. and how can you get aaron metals. i wrote this book "what it is like to go to war" for several reasons. the audience was young people who were considering making the military career. i wanted to reach them. i don't want any romantics joining the united states military or the armed forces. i want to join with clear heads and clear eyes about what they're getting into. i wrote it for veterans because i have struggled with a lot of things. if aiken struggle with these things and get some clarity to someone reading it, might be helped by it. i also wanted to write it for the general public and
particularly policymakers. is important that we understand that we are involved very deeply in our wars and we tend to think we are not. i opened the book with a quote from bismarck. one of my favorite quotes. bismarck said any fool can learn from their own mistakes. i prefer to learn from other people's mistakes. i thought if i can put some mistakes down that i learned the hard way maybe someone else could do it. here is where i launch into this story. we were on an assault and going up a very steep hill and by this time it had broken down into chaos. as anybody will tell u.s. and as the first shot is fired, the way it gets done is individuals 18 and 19-year-old marine's figure out how to get there and and
that is how it really works. two hand grenades came flying off of the top of the hill and exploded and are got knocked unconscious and when i came to, sort of a mess but still functioning. we through two grenades back and two more grenades came flying from the top and we were scrambling up hill to get under them so they went below us. we through two back and, karl marlantes figured that we only have two grenade back. i told the two guys who were with me next time you throw grenades are am going to be around the side and in a position to shoot you guys when they have to stand up to throw their grenades at us. i worked my way around the side of the hill. i could see one of the soldiers was already dead. the other one just like us was a
kid, late teens. he rose to throw the grenade and our eyes locked. this is a very unusual thing in combat. generally don't ever lock eyes with people you are about to kill and he was no further away than the third or fourth row. i was waiting for him and i remember whispering, wishing i could speak i won't throw the trigger. if you don't throw it i won't pull the trigger. i pulled the trigger. i remember being slightly chagrined because i anticipated the recoil on the rifle. drill sergeant kick you in the rear end for doing what they call blocking your shot and it hit the dirt slightly in front of the guy. and the battle still going on.
about ten years later i was in one of these california groups they had. remember the california stuff about getting in touch with your feelings and no one had heard of pg s t. totally unaware of it. i was the typical sort of guy trying to -- my wife had brought me there. finally the leader turns on me and says i understand you were in the vietnam war. she said how do you feel about that? i said -- a typical answer. she said why don't we start talking about it? she asked me to apologize to a kid that are shot. i am game. i said i will do that. i start to